As a marketer, we’re often prone to following trends in the markets that dominate the news in tech and mobile, namely the US, UK, China and the sub-continent. Non-English language markets come in a close second like Brazil or Russia.

Last week, however, I was reminded of the fallacy of taking trends in mainstream media markets at face value.

eMarketer released this image and a short report on Indonesia’s most-used Android application, and it wasn’t a game, Whatsapp, Facebook or Instagram.


It was Blackberry Messenger.


As you can see above, it beats all the the most popular apps we now assume dominate usage by factors of several dozen. Cue shock, surprise, incredulity.

Just a couple of weeks ago I wrote about the surprise revelation to me about Facebook Live in this post. Today, this. BBM isn’t even part of our conversations anymore. In fact, it disappeared from any conversation on digital marketing more than 4 years ago when Whatsapp really started to capture the global Android and iOS market.

Yet here we are. 90% of 65 million+ people in a country use it more than Whatsapp, FB, Gmail, Insta, Google Maps etc on their Android phones.

Imagine the conversations in marketing meetings there on channel usage. Imagine you, as a digital marketer wanting to tap into a market like Indonesia with a new campaign, and discovering a platform no other marketer would be caught dead advertising on.

And then realising 65 million people use it. And then realising you’d be the first to capture it.

What I’m saying here is simple: assume nothing, question everything.

The numbers never lie.